Hurricane Matthew brought out the best and worst of First Coast residents. That said, I present to you the best and worst things that happened in Jacksonville as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
1. Mayor Lenny Curry, the City of Jacksonville and EOC (Emergency Operations Center) for keeping us safe—even “forcing” residents to evacuate (not that everyone cooperated).
2. Local TV and radio stations for also working around the clock to keep us informed of the hurricane’s path and putting themselves in harm’s way to show the the devastation of our area, especially the Beaches and St. Augustine.
3. JEA crews for working 24/7 to get power restored.
3B. Power crews who came from across the country including Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas to assist with power restoration.
4. Social media for allowing us to spread the word about weather conditions, roads to avoid, availability (or lack thereof) of hurricane supplies (water, flashlights, candles, etc.) and gas, as well as photos.
Facebook created a Safety Check page for the Hurricane, enabling residents to check in they were safe.
5. The willingness of residents to help others—even complete strangers. I, for one, was fortunate to have friends who brought me flashlights, batteries and a box of Frito-Lay snacks that I’ll be eating for the rest of my life (truth be told, I’ll probably have it polished off by tomorrow morning) and charged my phone in her car. Then there are the folks on social media who offered me a bed (I lost power for almost three days), a refuge with air conditioning (I lost power for almost three days) and “entertainment.”
7. Local businesses, including Maple Street Biscuit Company, Smoothie King, European Street Cafe, Cinotti’s Bakery, Carmelo’s, Joseph’s, Hoptinger and Mady’s, for free or discounted meals to first responders. And the Jacksonville Symphony for offering free tickets to first responders and discounts to everyone else.
8. And finally, to Matthew … for not being as bad as it could have been.
Click here to read the worst things that happened in Jacksonville as a result of Hurricane Matthew.